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Self-confidence – addressing personal identity issues.

Dear fellow readers, I’m back from Vegas and ready to write once more.

Tonight, I was quite inept at thinking critically and mustering up ideas for a blog post. I’m still working on my Mexico story, and my laziness is inhibiting my will to write  the Diet & Exercise blog post I promised you readers. However, I thought of [what I presume to be] a very suitable and important blog post tonight: self confidence.

Many people are not at the level of confidence that they should be at. Those who confide in me share their mentalities of lacking in some areas compared to others in today’s society. I hope this post will be valuable to those who feel insecure about themselves, lack in self confidence, and feel they are incapable of performing on par with others.

[Before I continue, I’m going to state this: I am not a psychologist. I am not a certified confidence-booster. I am not a super genius (just a regular one). The last statement was purely comical; do laugh now. The subsequent paragraphs are my experiences as both a former insecure and under-confident person, and dealing with friends suffering from similar circumstances.]

Here are some common concerns that I often hear about and/or have to address:
– Deviant physical trait. Ex: “I’m too fat… I’m too short… I’m ugly.”
– Deviant mental trait. Ex: “I’m dumb… I’m not smart enough.”
– Inability to communicate with others. Ex: “I’m too shy… I don’t know how to talk to girls/guys… I’m awkward around people.”
– Competition with other people. Ex: “I’m not as pretty as that girl… I’m not as strong as that guy.”

Listed below are six steps that I feel everyone should strive for to improve their self-confidence.

1. Acknowledge that you’re only human.
The person that knows you the most in the world is, you. Nobody else understands your best and worst traits better than yourself. Use this to your advantage, for you know all your strengths and weaknesses. As with others, you have a million flaws that you possess. The important thing here is to acknowledge that fact. The reason being, there are a million excellent traits that you have as well. To accept this will help you become a happier person.

2. Think about your greatest strengths, and optimize them.
There is a game that I play very often with my friends. The game has no specific title, but for the sake of clarity, I shall call it the “Story Game.” The Story Game consists of two or more friends taking turns telling a story about themselves. This story is entirely in the hands of the speaker; any subject is appropriate, as long as it shares something with the audience. Not only does this allow the listeners to learn something from the speaker, the storyteller is able to critically think about which story he or she wishes to share. Reflecting on the story would, hopefully, also give the reader a chance to acquire additional insight about his or her life.

I often encourage my friends to exchange their stories to others. They learn what stories they feel comfortable telling, as well as which stories expose them in the limelight. This allows them to realize what they like about themselves, and what they wish to improve upon.

3. Look at things through others’ perspectives.
There is a social psychological concept called the “looking-glass self.” The looking-glass self concept asks a person to look at him or herself through others’ eyes. The three main concepts are as follows:

  1. We imagine how we must appear to others.
  2. We imagine the judgement of that appearance.
  3. We develop our self through the judgments of others.

It may be cliche to mention this, but one should really “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” By following this perspective, one may be more inclined to make wiser decisions pertaining to their friends and family.

4. Realize that other people are the same as you: human beings.
I’ve been lucky enough to have fair skin for the past several years. However, in my first couple years of high school, I had my fair share of “breaking out” (getting pimples). I remember that I would be extremely conscious about them. For more than one school dance, I even had my sister apply things from her make-up kit to mask a single pimple. A single one!

Once every while, I ask my friends if they notice a certain oddity about me. I point out that characteristic. Almost every single time, they replied that they never noticed it until I mentioned it. You must realize that everyone else is like you: they are human beings that are overly concerned with their flaws. They know themselves better than anybody else, so their flaws become magnified tenfold. The time spent worrying about others is minuscule in comparison. Don’t worry about your flaws, for nobody else will ever notice it unless you make a big fuss over it.

5. Comfort zone: the importance of being comfortable.
Many friends approach me and explain how they become awkward around groups of people, amongst strangers, or amongst people of the opposite sex. They ask me for advice on how to better themselves in those unfamiliar settings. I cannot stress to you how important this section is: being comfortable.

Imagine hanging out with anybody you feel extremely comfortable with. This could be your family, your closest friends, your significant other, your pets, and so on. Applying the looking-glass self concept, notice how natural your actions look. Listen to how natural you sound. Imagine applying those behaviors in every situation you’re in. Whether it be introducing yourself to a person, striking up a conversation with an acquaintance, talking to an employer, or impressing a special somebody, being comfortable is key to successful human interaction.

6. The one that gets overlooked so often: being yourself.
Be yourself. Be yourself. And, as if I had not emphasized quite enough, be yourself. Many people try to become somebody they aren’t. Whether it is influenced by friends, the media, pressure by certain organizations, or anything else, many people seem to conform to the majority in hopes of gaining acceptance amongst the crowd. Try to forget those outside influences. Ignore every day distractions, and think about this question: what makes you the happiest?

That is really THE question to ask. What is it that makes you happy? Why is your happiness so important? Hear me out on this one, folks, for the next paragraph is of high importance.

It is important to be happy and accept yourself because no matter who you are and what you try to be, you’ll ALWAYS have some haters and lovers. Many people are quick to judge you based on even the most insignificant flaw you have. Many people will nitpick at your very essence, hoping to find any detail that incriminates you in the smallest way.

Jane Doe could be a rockstar, a pornstar, a superstar, or plain ‘ol Jane. John Doe could be a philanthropist, a misanthrope, or a hermit. Whoever any persons are, they will have those that will either dislike or support them. The most important thing, then, is to be and accept themselves.

In conclusion:
You’re only human, folks. You are no less a human being than any of the ~7 billion persons of this world. Acknowledge and accept that fact. Embrace it. Moreover, hear out and think about my advice. What I have dispensed to you all tonight has made me the extremely happy person I am today.

Thank you for reading, folks.


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